Season: 65-72; Home Stand: 6-3; Home Games Left: 2
A beautiful day for baseball. In what seems like a very long time the Bulls started the game in bright sunshine. So bright that it may have been what caused a slight hiccup in right field in the top of the 1st. The hiccup led to a triple, but the runner never scored.
Cesar Ramos went on to have a terrific day. Obviously going from the bullpen to starting is much more complicated that I would have thought. Yesterday he pitched very, very well against a team that has to be wondering what happened to the 2012 Durham Bulls, the team that was lurching along near the bottom of the division. This team was the pitching, running, scrambling, hitting team of yesteryear and beat the Tides for the fifth game in a row.
Mr. Ramos was never in any real trouble until the 5th when the bases were loaded with two outs. But a popup to short ended that threat.
Josh Lueke had another shaky outing. Single, K, K, home run, K. Those two runs brought the Knights back to 4-2. Brandon Gomes came in for a two-inning save that, even though a run came in, simply felt like things were in hand.
Meanwhile visiting infielder Sean Rodriguez should be feeling pretty good. The reason he’s with the Bulls has everything to do with DH’r Luke Scott coming off the DL. Since that time, Scott has played in 4 games for the Rays, with 4 hits and 1 RBI. Rodriguez, on the other hand, has played in two games for the Bulls with two doubles, a home run, and 4 RBIs. Last night’s was off the Bull (video here). The Bulls have won all of their games, the Rays dropped their last two. Take that Tampa Bay!
As it happens, both middle infielders hit home runs last night. Tim Beckham, playing shortstop hit one to the deepest part of center field in the 5th.
Six games in a row, all at home, is a big deal in any season. Thank you, Durham Bulls!
Outside the game
- Rich Thompson’s run at the International League batting title is getting less stealthy. He was 3 for 4 last night, raising his average to .310. He’s now tied for third place. Leslie Anderson sat out the evening and slipped into second place when Gwinnett’s Jose Constanza went 2 for 3. Thompson also stole 3 bases (at 28 he’s in third place in the IL with no chance to catch up with Gwinett’s Durango’s 43, but maybe Indianapolis’ d’Arnaud’s 31).
- When Roger Clemens stepped to the mound for his first game in a bunch of years pitching for the Sugarland Skeeters, in the batters’ box was none other than former Durham Bull Joey Gathright, now playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish. Gathright struck out.
- The wild card race between the IronPigs and the PawSox continues to be very, very close.